Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crooked lawyers' force review of legal aid

"Some lawyers appear to be acting corruptly and should be disbarred."

Yes I agree, my forced nightmare started in July 2001 and many corrupt bottom feeder lawyers made heaps from the falsely obtained protection orders. They helped police stack lie upon lie which unfortunately saw the heartbreaking litigation meander on until 2008.
Many thanks to the dirty corrupt legal aid scum lawyer that were court directed to participate in my miscarriage of justice.
Thanks for nothing you Westport filth lawyers, Martin Sawyers and Doug Taffs.
Thanks for destroying my family you low life Ashburton filth lawyers Paul Finnigan and Geoff Kean.
Thanks for acting against my best interests and helping to kill my mother Adrienne Edwards, Siobhan McNulty and the sly two faced pomy bastard Tony Grieg.
Justice is coming you dogs.

'Crooked lawyers' force review of legal aid


Justice Minister Simon Power will ask Cabinet to agree to sweeping changes to legal aid after revelations hundreds of crooked lawyers are ripping off taxpayers.
He has vowed "urgent structural change" to shore up public confidence in the system.
Power has asked justice officials to compile an urgent report on how quickly the Legal Services Agency can be disestablished and folded into the Ministry of Justice. Cabinet will consider the report on Monday.
The agency, set up in 1991, doled out $124 million to legal-aid lawyers last year for 95,000 applications.
In a damning report on its performance, Dame Margaret Bazley says that potentially tens of millions of dollars have been pocketed fraudulently by lawyers "gaming the system". At least 200 lawyers – possibly more – were involved in the practice, which Bazley described yesterday as "unscrupulous and corrupt".
In one of the hardest-hitting reports in Bazley's long career, the public service troubleshooter slated both the agency and the Law Society, saying they had a "dysfunctional" relationship and appeared either unable or unwilling to stop abuses in the system.
"Car-boot lawyers" were deliberately dragging out court cases, seeking unnecessary adjournments or changing pleas halfway through trials to maximise their fees. Some had no offices and operated out of interview rooms at court, she said.
"I have very serious concerns about what I found and I was appalled by the behaviour of some lawyers and their clients," Bazley said.
"Some lawyers appear to be acting corruptly and should be disbarred."
Every major and provincial court in the country was affected, although it was "much worse" in Manukau, where as much as 80 per cent of legal-aid lawyers were "gaming" the system, she said. "
She has advised against attempting prosecutions, however, saying it would be easier and more effective to change the system.
Accused people, 63 per cent of whom were repeat clients of the agency, were also gaming the system, including the practice of "musical lawyers", which involved dismissing counsel near the end of lengthy or complicated trials to delay going to jail.
Bazley is recommending a mix of public and privately-provided legal aid, with a public defender model using a pool of experienced lawyers set up in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
In other centres, legal aid lawyers should be grouped under a senior lawyer responsible for quality. She recommended that legal aid work should be bulk-funded.
Repeat clients or those who dismissed their counsel should lose the right to appoint their own lawyer, Bazley said, while high-cost cases such as murder trials should be overseen by a senior public servant
Power said he was "shocked" by Bazley's report.
"I'm deeply concerned about what Dame Margaret has found. What she has identified goes to the very centre of the integrity of our legal system. Things must change, and fast," Power said. "The Government will consider the report and move very quickly on it. I intend to raise initial issues at Cabinet on Monday as a matter of urgency."
Power said while the Government could make structural changes, it was up to the Law Society to weed dodgy lawyers out of the system.
Law Society president John Marshall QC said he welcomed Bazley's report, which reflected much of the society's own position.

No comments: